The Sea Star Journey Motor Yacht (formerly Grand Odyssey) was specifically designed for small groups such as families, friends and of course, couples – as a matter of fact, it is a quite popular choice for many honeymoon trips to the Galapagos Islands. It thus offers both privacy and comfort while also aiming to reduce visitor impact on the fragile ecosystem. It is self-described by its operator (Latin Trails) as a boutique yacht, and we do see that concept being manifested – small yet generous, stylish, and serviceable. With rather contrasting decorative style, the staterooms are equipped with panoramic windows which incorporates the surrounding landscape into the privacy of your cabin. Some of them are actually interconnected, allowing even more privacy. The cruise offers a large solarium with shaded and uncovered areas, two Jacuzzis, and comfortable sun loungers. Social areas include a lounge area, a mini library, a video library and a play zone for kids (during family departures). These departures, by the way, make this ship a great option for families looking for kid-friendly cruises to the Galapagos.
A passenger may appreciate the “introvert” nature of the ship’s intimate setting. However, on the other hand, the excursions are the other way around – as extroverted as it can get with nature. To begin with, the itineraries are great. It includes the main wildlife and landscape highlights, and you get to experience them “actively”. You can hike up Sierra Negra Volcano, kayak into a mangrove forest, witness the nesting moment of a sea turtle, snorkel with penguins, imagine how pirates moved around the shores of Floreana Island, and even beachcombing the soft white beach – so soft in fact, that you will feel as if walking on flour, though, it is technically not sand (you will have to ask your guide about this).
After the expedition, shake-off the sands and rest for a while on the sun deck. This is the perfect moment for socializing around the jacuzzi too. Clink the ‘pilseners’ (if you haven’t had this local beer, you haven’t been to Ecuador) and share a nice and friendly time. If you are not into beers, you can always check out the wine and spirit menu available onboard – some excellent Ecuadorian wines and gins. Just ask the barman what he has to recommend. On the meantime, things are getting pretty busy down the kitchen – expect a delicious and plentiful dinner. The guide will be planning tomorrow’s excursion followed by a list of topics to be covered on tonight’s briefing. Although in occasions, the guide does sneak out of his cabin to make some new friends; after all, they are all eager to share the wonders of this marvelous archipelago.
There is too many options and varieties for singling out the best cruise to the Galapagos. Still, the Sea Star Journey definitely stands out as one of the top choices, especially among first-class category cruises. In the end, each traveler will has his own preference. It is so flexible, even handicap travelers are welcome aboard! So inquire now, tell us a bit about yourself and what you are looking for; we may just be able to single out the one for you
“My wife and I just completed a 5-day tour around the Cotopaxi volcano and the stunning Quilotoa loop – overall an excellent trip and wonderful experience.”